Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o [CeCe’s Book Review]

SulweSulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Published: October 2019
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sulwe’s Black is beautiful. Her skin, the color of midnight, is elegant and radiant. Her very name means star and she has what she needs within to let her confident brilliance shine. But it’s difficult to shake off the heavy weight of being called “Blackie” or “Darky” and feeling like maybe she’d be able to make friends if her skin were a lighter tone. Her mom gives her words of encouragement that I hope will inspire every reader, “Real beauty comes from your mind and your heart. It beings with how you see yourself, not how others see you.”

Sulwe is Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s outstanding picture book debut. It is a self-affirming celebration that empowers the reader to define and be their own kind of beautiful. It is masterfully illustrated by Vashti Harrison (author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History). That magical night that Sulwe was whisked away on a journey among the stars is just one of many fantastical illustrations that filled this book with wonder. Vashti’s depiction of night and day is absolutely stunning! I’ve admired her work for the past couple of years but this book has me saying, “All hail Queen Vashti.” – Ahem, Caldecott. That is all.

View all my reviews

Favorite Lines:

“Real beauty comes from your mind and your heart. It begins with how you see yourself, not how others see you.” ~ Sulwe’s Mom

“There is so much beauty in this world and inside you that others are not awake to. Don’t wait for anyne to tell you what is beautiful.” ~ Lupita Nyong’o (Author’s Note)


Lupita Nyong’o |


Vashti Harrison |

Simon & Schuster Bookfs for Young Readers

Borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Find Sulwe at your local indie bookstore: Support Independent Bookstores - Visit

Amazon: Sulwe


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